Jacqueline Moudeina

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Jacqueline Moudeina
Born Jacqueline Moudeina
Nationality Chadian
Education Masters Degree in Private Law
Known for Human Rights Defense

Jacqueline Moudeina (born 1957) is a Chadian lawyer and human rights activist, who is known for her work in attempting to bring Hissène Habré to justice for crimes against humanity, as well as those who worked with him.


Jacqueline was born and raised in Chad; however in 1979 after civil war broke out in the country, she quit her study of English at the University of Chad and fled to the Congo with her husband. They lived there for over 13 years before returning. While there, she received a master's degree in Private Law at the University of Brazzaville.[1]

She returned to Chad in 1995, after the reign of terror that occurred during Hissène Habré's stint as president. She registered as a legal intern, and was one of the first woman to have done so. She would then be promoted to legal secretary, then by 2004 she was made the President of the Chadian Association for the Promotion and Defense of Human Rights. During this ten-year period, she began accumulating evidence of the atrocities committed by Habré and his affiliates.[2]

On February 23, 2001, while Moudeina was participating in a peaceful demonstration in front of the French Embassy to denounce irregularities that occurred during the presidential elections, the Chief Police Commissioner Mahamat Wakaye ordered the dispersion of the demonstration through the use of force. Jacqueline was wounded by a grenade during the event, and would spend over a year in France recovering from her injuries. According to witness testimonies, Wakaye ordered the targeting of Moudeina during the attack.[3]

Habré's Trial[edit]

Moudeina filed her first case against Habré in 2000, while he was living comfortably in the Republic of Senegal, on behalf of seven women. The judge of the case indicted him for complicity in the acts of torture and barbarity. However, a year later the judge threw out the case saying it was out of Senegalese jurisdiction. Moudeina and the victims in turn filed the case in Belgium, because a law exists there that any person who committed acts of torture anywhere in the world could be indicted and tried.

After five years of deliberation; the Belgium judge charged Habré with war crimes, crimes against humanity, and genocide. An international arrest warrant was then placed on him, and extradition from Senegal was requested. He was arrested and detained for ten days, but the Senegalese prosecutor declared himself incompetent to follow through with the request. The Senegalese President called the case an African issue, and moved to put it before the African Union.[4]

In 2005, the African Union asked Senegal to prosecute Habré in the name of Africa, declaring that no African head of state should be tried outside of Africa. However, 6 years Senegal declared that it would not stage a trial against him. Moudeina is now attempting to extradite him through other international channels.[5]


She was awarded the Martin Ennals Award for Human Rights Defenders in 2002. She became president of the Chadian Association for the Promotion and Defense of Human Rights (ATPDH) in 2004. She was awarded the Right Livelihood Award in 2011.[6]

External links[edit]


  1. ^ Sybille Ngo Nyeck (2005-04-13). "The Challenge of Human Rights in Chad". Retrieved 11-1-2012.  Check date values in: |access-date= (help)
  2. ^ Sybille Ngo Nyeck (2005-04-13). "The Challenge of Human Rights in Chad". Retrieved 11-1-2012.  Check date values in: |access-date= (help)
  3. ^ "Impunity for attack on Human Rights Defender in Chad". 2004-06-17. Retrieved 11-1-2012.  Check date values in: |access-date= (help)
  4. ^ Patrick Wegner (2011-12-18). "No Limits for Justice? Universal Jurisdiction and the Case of Former Chadian President Hissene Habré". Retrieved 11-1-2012.  Check date values in: |access-date= (help)
  5. ^ "Jacqueline Moudeina: "Impunity is a cancer that prevents us from realizing our true potential"". 7-12-2011. Retrieved 1-11-2012.  Check date values in: |access-date=, |date= (help)
  6. ^ "Jacqueline Moudeina (Chad)". Right Livelihood Award. Retrieved 20 December 2011.